Civil Liberties Group Opposes New Airport Scanner that 'Undresses' Passengers

Civil liberties campaigners in the UK have voiced their concern over new X-ray machines being used at London's Heathrow Airport which are said to allow security personnel to see through passengers' clothes.

The machine uses a safe level of radiation to see through clothing and produce an anatomically detailed black and white image of the body underneath. Passengers asked about the new machine at the airport said that they approved as long as it made them safer in the air, with the airport's operator BAA saying that it had received 98% positive feedback during the machines' trial period.

Liberty, the UK-based civil liberties group, said that the new machine was intrusive and its use unjustified. A spokesperson for the group said that while it had no objection to security measures it remains unconvinced that such a machine is necessary and is an obvious invasion of people's privacy.

A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport said that the machine would not cause passengers any embarrassment and that the operator that sees the image will not be able to see the actual person.